"Living is easy with eyes closed." This phrase by English writer John Lennon, perfectly delineates the state of mankind in Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.This statement, with eyes symbolizing mental acquisitiveness, describes the world Bradbury portrays in which books are censored and ignorance has utterly overpowered intellect and curiosity. Through the use of the theme of censorship, the speaker in the novel Fahrenheit 451 demonstrates the results of complete ignorance and the sheer power of knowledge, and makes the reader wonder whether enlightenment really does hinder happiness in an individual and society as a whole.
The enforcement of ignorance by censorship is introduced very early in the novel, and its effects are evident throughout. All books are censored and there is a fire station in each district to enforce that law, fire stations are required to immediately conflagrate property in which books are stored. People have neither knowledge nor curiosity of history and are extremely shallow. People prefer living outside of reality, as the following quote shows: "See the world, it's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories" (Bradbury, page # 171). This quote says that life has become simulated and is chimerical. An example of this is how people spend their time interacting with "parlor walls" and even consider their family to be virtual characters in these parlor walls. Steps have even been taken to limit the amount of talking people do with each other, and the depth of these conservations is restricted. The quote, "People don't talk about anything they all say the same things and nobody says anything different from anyone else" (page # 33). This quote points out that people don't talk about matters of importance and only casually chatter about ignorant matters. It is conspicuous that the world Bradbury presents in Fahrenheit 451 is extremely artificial, unreal, and ignorant.